Grapple, Trip, Shove and Disarm all have the Attack trait.
An ability with this trait involves an attack. For each attack you make beyond the first on your turn, you take a multiple attack penalty.
You are making the attack with the weapon. You fail to hit. You get the bonus on the next attack.
No. Trips and Shoves don't miss, they fail. You aren't rolling vs an AC.
By RAW, that has no bearing here.
Step 3: Compare the Result to the DC wrote:
Armor Class wrote:
Attack rolls are compared to a special difficulty class called an Armor Class (AC), which measures how hard it is for your foes to hit you with Strikes and other attack actions. Just like for any other check and DC, the result of an attack roll must meet or exceed your AC to be successful, which allows your foe to deal damage to you.
Note neither of those have a special "miss" clause that differentiates a Strike failure from a Trip/Grab/etc failure.
By RAW, I disagree you can release the shield to escape the Grabbed condition as it is the PC who is grabbed, not the shield.
However, if you decide by RAI to allow it, remember that unstrapping the shield is an Interact action which means it has the Manipulate trait, therefore the PC must succeed on a DC 5 flat check or the action is lost because of the Grabbed condition.
In PF1, an AOO vs someone standing up was considered to happen before they stood up. So, they were prone and you couldn't "triplock" them. However, you did get to attack their prone AC.
However, PF2 differentiated the timing of AOOs on various move actions:
Some reactions and free actions are triggered by a creature using an action with the move trait. The most notable example is Attack of Opportunity. Actions with the move trait can trigger reactions or free actions throughout the course of the distance traveled. Each time you exit a square (or move 5 feet if not using a grid) within a creature’s reach, your movement triggers those reactions and free actions (although no more than once per move action for a given reacting creature). If you use a move action but don’t move out of a square, the trigger instead happens at the end of that action or ability.
The crit specialization effect of the flail group is knocking your opponent prone. Since the attack happens after they have stood up, if you crit, you knock them down again.
...of course, for this to happen you need to have the ability to make AOOs, crit specialization effect training in flails, AND roll a crit vs your opponent's normal AC (as they are not considered prone).
Bruno Breakbone, a handsome and beautiful monk, took the FORT and REF saves by CR data tqomins collected, averaged them, and updated spreadsheet.
From CR 4 and above, Trip will be the easier maneuver to succeed at as the REF save lags behind the FORT save.
Bruno Breakbone, a handsome and beautiful tet--er-- monk, is waiting for someone to compile the average saves of monsters from Bestiary.
Please note: Class-specific ways to boost your athletics skill (like Barbarian's Furious Bully class feat) are not included.
Bruno has no updates because a lot is in flux.
Trip still remains the best maneuver (especially with weapon support), Grapple needs another pass, Shove is too situational and Disarm is only good for mooks...and if you're dealing with a mook, why not just drop 'em with standard attack instead?
Bruno hope Devs take a look at combat maneuvers and give another rules/mechanics pass. As it is right now, Bruno not very engaged by the current implementation.
Each game session, the GM should award no more than
Your character can have a maximum of 3 Hero Points
Spending Hero Points
• Spending 1 Hero Point allows you to stave off death.
• Spending 2 Hero Points allows you to reroll a d20 roll. You
• Spending 3 Hero Points allows you to act one extra time in
Describing Heroic Deeds
Your character’s deed might involve a lesson learned in
From the work of Reddit user BlackBacon, I created a spreadsheet for myself to look at how a Combat Maneuver specialist stacks up.
In the Playtest Bestiary, it appears the REF defense is almost always lower than the FORT defense. All hail trip, our new king of combat maneuvers?
A little hyperbole there, but trip has been given some love in PF2. It works on creatures up to 2 sizes larger than you (up from 1). On a success, a creature is tripped; on a Critical Success, it also takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage--while not much, it does make those Nat 20s or Critical Successes feel good at the table. Another boost is that Trip now inherently works on flying creatures (Prone Condition: “If you’re Climbing or Flying when you would be knocked prone, you fall instead.”) Critical failure, as always, is you falling prone instead. Trip also has substantial weapon support (13 weapons, but half are gated as Uncommon weapons).
Grapple is a mixed bag but definitely has been nerfed from it’s PF1 incarnation. You no longer can grapple creatures much larger than you (2 sizes larger max), but you only need one free hand and suffer no penalty for using just that one hand. You can no longer maintain a grapple and damage at the same (with one monk class feat exception)--in the 3 action economy, it seems like you are expected to Grapple with one action and then Strike on subsequent actions. There is no grappling “flow”--your opponent’s status can fluctuate between Grabbed and Restrained from round-to-round depending on how you roll...with no way to progress from Grabbed to Restrained. Currently, there are no rules for tying up a foe. Finally, Critical Failure is really bad for a grappler now--your opponent can reverse the grapple and give you the grabbed condition or force you to fall prone! Grapple has no weapon support.
Unless I missed something, reach weapons no longer have the donut of death?
Bruno, a handsome and beautiful tetori monk, is currently poring through the playtest materials and working on a very rough guide to PF2 combat maneuvers. Bruno welcome all thoughts and discussion and looks forward to seeing how initial analysis changes after we see maneuvers in actual play.
PF1 to PF2 Overview:
CMB and CMD no longer exist, so without the full-, ¾- or half-BAB progressions of PF1, theoretically any PF2 class can be good at basic combat maneuvers if A) they can max their STR and B) can make Athletics a Signature Skill. However, certain classes are built with the ability to enhance their attacks/maneuvers, giving them better action economy and DPR. At a glance:
Early Maneuver Rankings:
(*): A poor option.
(**): An OK option.
(***): A recommended option.
(***): A great option.
DISARM (*) vs REF: If you succeed...you only grant a +2 circumstance bonus on further disarm attempts until the start of the creature’s turn. So, since all maneuvers are tagged attack, if you attempted to disarm your foe with your first attack and “succeeded”--they’d still have their weapon and you’d continue your way down the multi-attack penalty line (-5 on your second disarm attempt, -3 if you “successfully” disarmed on the previous attempt). On the positive side, someone else could use their best attack with the +2 bonus to attempt to disarm the foe and hope for a Critical Success...or you both could just attack.
Disarm Weapon Support: 10 weapons...but since Disarm is hot garbage, it’s better to get a weapon that supports another maneuver (like trip) and treat the disarm trait as a situational option.
GRAPPLE (**to***) vs FORT: Grapple is a mixed bag but definitely has been nerfed from it’s PF1 incarnation. You no longer can grapple creatures much larger than you (2 sizes larger max), but you only need one free hand and suffer no penalty for using just that one hand. You can no longer maintain a grapple and damage at the same (with one monk class feat exception)--in the 3 action economy, it seems like you are expected to Grapple with one action and then Strike on subsequent actions. There is no grappling “flow”--your opponent’s status can fluctuate between Grabbed and Restrained from round-to-round depending on how you roll...with no way to progress from Grabbed to Restrained. Currently, there are no rules for tying up a foe. Finally, Critical Failure is really bad for a grappler--your opponent can reverse the grapple and give you the grabbed condition or force you to fall prone! Until we see how grappling plays out in actual games, this Grapple is a situational 2- or 3-star maneuver.
Grapple Weapon Support: 0 weapons. Not even a net.
SHOVE (*to**) vs FORT: Like Grapple, Shove is a mixed bag. While you can now Shove creatures 2 sizes larger than you, you can only push them 5 feet, 10 feet on a Critical Success (vs the scaling distance you had in PF1). Furthermore, there is the risk of falling prone on a Critical Failure. As AOOs have been severely reduced, Shove is situational at best.
Shove Weapon Support: 5 weapons. Of note, this includes the only d12 weapon capable of a maneuver--the Maul.
TRIP (****) vs REF: Trip has been given some love in PF2. On a success, a creature is tripped; on a Critical Success, it also takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage--while not much, it does make those Nat 20s or Critical Successes feel good at the table. Another boost is that Trip now inherently works on flying creatures (Prone Condition: “If you’re Climbing or Flying when you would be knocked prone, you fall instead.”) Critical failure, as always, is you falling prone instead.
Trip Weapon Support: 13(!) weapons...but half are gated as Uncommon weapons. For martial melee weapons, the Guisarme has high damage and Reach, making it a nice control option while the Scythe with Deadly makes for wicked crits. For uncommon martial weapons, Monks with the Monastic Weaponry class feat should consider the Temple Sword; Goblins and Gnomes with the Weapon Familiarity ancestry feat should consider the Horsechopper (reach, versatile P) and Gnome hook hammer (two-hand d10, versatile P) respectively.
Suggested Stat Array:
Athletics is STR-based, so you’ll always be looking to pump your STR as much as possible. DEX edges out CON as the inflated L1 HP gives you some cushion. WIS improves your mental defense and perception. INT and CHA are your low-priority stats.
For martials, your stat array:
If you are caster that focuses on self-buffing:
When looking at Ancestries, we’re generally looking for a non-STR Ability Flaw, medium size (so you can affect up to huge-sized foes), and solid HP. For traits, we’ll be looking for options that directly increase our Athletics, improve our defenses (since we’ll be in melee), give us access to maneuver weapons or give other useful options.
TL;DR RATINGS -- full breakdown will be in guide
While the backgrounds are pretty varied, we want to make sure that we can follow STR > DEX > CON > WIS (or Casting Stat). Since this is primarily from the POV of martial characters if a background forces INT or CHA, it’s automatically 1 star, adjust as necessary if you’re a caster. If a background grants you the ability to take STR and either DEX or CON, it’s 2 stars. Farmhand is 4 stars because we get Assurance in Athletics and we will keep that maxed during our career.
Acolyte (***): STR or WIS + Free. Student of the Canon, (Deity) Lore.
Acrobat (***): STR or DEX + Free. Steady Balance, trained in Circus Lore.
Animal Whisperer (**): WIS or CHA + Free. Train Animal, Animal Lore.
Barkeep (***): CON or CHA + Free. Hobnobber, Alcohol Lore.
Blacksmith (***): STR or INT + Free. Specialty Crafting, Blacksmith Lore.
Criminal (***): DEX or INT + Free. Experienced Smuggler, Underworld Lore.
Entertainer (***): DEX or CHA + Free. Fascinating Performance, Entertainment Lore.
Farmhand (****): CON or WIS + Free. Assurance (Athletics), Farming Lore.
Gladiator (***): STR or CHA + Free. Fascinating Performance, Gladiatorial Lore.
Hunter (***): DEX or WIS + Free. Survey Wildlife, Hunting Lore.
Laborer (***): STR or CON + Free. Robust Recovery, Labor Lore.
Merchant (*): INT or CHA + Free. Bargain Hunter, Mercantile Lore.
Noble (*): INT or CHA + Free. Courtly Graces, Nobility Lore.
Nomad (***): CON or WIS + Free. Assurance (Survival), (Terrain) Lore
Sailor (***): STR or DEX + Free. Underwater Marauder, Sailing Lore
Scholar (**): INT or WIS + Free. Assurance (Arc/Nat/Occ/Rel), Academia Lore
Scout (***): DEX or WIS + Free. Forager, Scouting Lore.
Street Urchin (***): DEX or INT + Free. Pickpocket, Underworld Lore.
Warrior (***): STR or CON + Free. Quick Repair, Warfare Lore.
Bruno working on this section right now. Bruno currently work his way through Barbarian (***), Fighter (****) and Monk (TBD). Ranger, Rogue and Paladin next. You can view the evolution of this section at the google doc linked at the top of the post.
A list of weapons able to deliver maneuvers. A more thorough breakdown and rating of weapon traits that complement maneuver builds will be forthcoming.
The following conditions are helpful in that either they lower your enemy’s defense (FORT or REF) or penalize a relevant skill (Acrobatics or Athletics to escape a grapple). Whether you can inflict these yourself or a fellow party member drops these on your enemy, these definitely make your job as a lockdown artist much easier!
Fatigued: -1 AC and saving throws per action until the start of your next turn
Frightened: Penalty to checks and saving throws
Sick: Penalty on all checks
Sluggish: Conditional penalty to AC, attack rolls, Dexterity-based checks, and Reflex saves
This section is hyper-focused on items that specifically boost your STR, your Athletics skill or a specific maneuver.
Armbands of Athleticism (L9 or L17)
Bruno welcome your thoughts and experiences as the playtest continues.
When you critically succeed to identify a target you're hunting with Recall Knowledge, you (and your allies, if you tell them) gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your next attack roll against it, but not against other creatures of that species. The creature is bolstered.
Couple of questions!
1) "a target you're hunting" -- Does this mean 'the focus of Hunt Target'? Or any creature you're just regularly hunting/tracking. I know that's nit-picky, but this is a level 1 feat and probably should be very clear.
2) "you (and your allies, if you tell them) gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your next attack roll against it, but not against other creatures of that species" So, if we're fighting a pack of 5 wargs, and I critically identify one, the bonus doesn't carry over to the other creatures in the same combat?
3) What action is using Recall Knowledge? Since there's no [[(X)]], that would be free, correct?
I know we don't have all the pieces yet, but it doesn't seem that fun to fight a group of identical creatures (which happens a lot) and have to spam Recall Knowledge on every single one you target in succession in the hopes of a critical success for a one-off bonus. Is there a feat/ability that lets Recall Knowledge work for all the same type of creatures in a single battle, or at higher levels, the same types of creatures over a period of time (like hours/level)?
Obviously, I need to sit down and play the monk at different levels for a true read, but my concerns seem to be in line with those being posted already. Also, “Flurry of Blows” as previewed does not feel like FoB...might as well call it Double Strike or somesuch. And 0/-4/-8/-8 for full round of attacks feels like Flurry of Misses all over again. (And if the intent is move/Flurry/(other 1 action ability) it really doesn’t feel like a FoB)
Honestly, this preview has me feeling just whelmed by the PF2 Monk. Here’s hoping there will be an engaging archetype for it!
Bruno, a handsome and beautiful tetori monk, has question: is Flat-Footed only a -2 AC penalty?
Since combat maneuvers attack FORT or REF defense now (and not CMD), it seem flanking an opponent not help you trip, disarm, grapple, etc.; in PF1 you get +2 attack bonus for flanking which apply to your maneuver (as it is an attack roll). In PF2, opponent get -2 to AC...but you don't target AC with maneuver check in PF2.
Bruno understand we don't have all information yet, but just in case: is it intentional that maneuvers don't benefit from flanking?
A rage lasts 3 rounds, followed by a round of fatigue. While you're fatigued, you can't rage again, but once that round has passed, you can enter a new rage, with a shiny brand-new set of temporary Hit Points to go along with it. You can do this as often as you need during the day!
In case anyone complains about this, I'd wait to see if there is a class feat available that extends how long a rage lasts before fatigue sets in.
For Kossar's question, Bruno double checked progression and realized he left out a rage power pick up at L9...the consequence being an open feat at L11! And to answer your question, Kossar: Toughness becomes Extra Rage Power: Superstition
The Final Feats:
The Corrected Progession:
If you don't want to rush Rapid Grappler with retraining, you can take RG at L11 and grab something else at L9 (perhaps Planar Wildshape for SR, DR and resistances--if something penetrates SR, then you have Superstition/Monk-dip boosted saves as your defense-in-depth).
Bruno, a handsome and beautiful tetori, always consider Strangler...but can never quite fit it into a build (yet)!
Bruno, to be very honest, may have tunnel vision going Barbarian for Animal Fury and Spell Sunder--especially because this build would have no anti-Freedom of Movement otherwise. Also, SS is great combat utility ability to have for the party when dealing with stupid dumdum caster spells.
Bruno almost always take Power Attack on grapple builds because when you get 2-3 grapple checks to damage a round, the -(x) to HIT is easily countered by +5 CMB to maintain. It easy "free" damage...and with things like Pinning KO doubling that static damage very nice. For example, at L9 with Power Attack and Pinning KO, it's 6 additional damage on a grapple to damage, 12 if creature susceptible to non-lethal--do three grapples to damage with Rapid Grappler and that an easy 18-36 bonus damage per round. Ideally, at L9 the 36 non-lethal Power Attack damage is 1/3 of the average HP for CR 9 creature (i.e. mook) or 1/4-1/5 the average HP of a CR 12 foe (i.e. typical boss).
To be fair, Bruno very biased towards grapple DPS builds over grapple control builds. Also, when Bruno can't grapple, having high STR, a 2H weapon and Power Attack means he can still contribute (somewhat). It rare when happen, but Bruno believe in being ready for that situation.
Finally, for Strangler:
At 1st level, a strangler deals +1d6 sneak attack damage whenever she succeeds at a grapple check to damage or pin an opponent.
The example pounce attack has no grapple actions to damage and only one pin attempt (with the Flurry of Maneuvers bonus grapple) in the first round. However, that second round with 2-3 grapple attempts to damage it would be very nice to get that L2 Brawler 2d6 x (# of grapples to damage)!
Ugh, Selvaxri, don't make Bruno head hurt with dip possibilities.
Have you considered playing a straight Beastkin Berserker Barbarian?
Bruno did not because 'Bruno want to challenge self to use full BAB shifter dip to make a PFS-legal pouncing grappler who pins on the charge.' ;)
You get access to Beast Shape III at Level 12 (unlike the Shifter who is restricted to Beast Shape II).
Bruno has 16 or so PFS characters. Only 3 or so are Seekers (L17 Life Oracle, L16 Bruno, and L12 DimDoor Shield Basher). Bruno also GM lots. Planning for a L12 ability never really a consideration in Bruno's builds because it rare to actually play that high where people haven't already burnt their playthroughs of PFS sanctioned mods/APs. Also, with a dip of MM Monk, it would be a L13 ability...
Plus, you can select any legal Beast Shape creature, unlike the Shifter who is limited to a list of 12.
For this build, you go with a pounce build with (hopefully) many grab attempts. That's pretty much Tiger, which you don't qualify for until 8th level--9th with MM dip (alternately: any multi-grab creature when you have the Greater Beast Totem (10th, 11th with MM)).
For those not familiar with Beastkin Beserker, while you have all the legal forms to choose from, you are locked into specific forms you choose at 1, 5, 10, etc. So at L5 you could choose Dire Tiger but you could not transform into it until L8...meaning from L4-7 you are locked into a small/medium form that is inferior to what Shifter has had from L4 and you surpass them form-wise only come L12 (which Bruno does not consider for builds).
I think the archetype was nerfed in PFS to be more in line with Mooncursed (in that the bonuses from Beast Shape replace Rage bonuses, rather than stack alongside them), but even then, I feel like you gain way more by staying a single classed Barbarian than you would by going Shifter for 4 levels.
Bruno can't find any such info. Any links? However, Beastkin Barbarian very good archetype, but for purpose of this build--pounce, multi-grab, pin in round 1 as soon as possible--it not best fit.
Mainly, Strength Surge--the best rage power for people interested in Combat Maneuvers--gives you a bonus equal on the roll equal to your Barbarian level. Plus you get great saves against magic with Superstitious, and decent defenses with the DR from Invulnerable Rager. With Invulnerable Rager + the Stalwart Feat + Improved Stalwart, you become pretty difficult to take down even with a lack of armor.
Bruno agree with Strength Surge. For this build, with CMB of 28 before grapple boosting magic items at L7, Bruno auto-succeed vs average CMD for equal CR and, with magic items, easily make grapple work all the way until retirement at L12. If Bruno were to play past L11, he would definitely get Strength Surge!
For this build, Bruno have Superstition. While not as good as pure beastkin barb, a level of monk is very nice for all-good saves bump. Also, if Bruno weren't in hurry to get Superstition > Witch Hunter > Spellsunder, he would pick up Planar Wildshape--the scaling Resistances, DR (esp L11+) are amazing.
To be clear, Bruno do appreciate suggestion of Beastkin! Thank you, Kaouse! Bruno putting Beastkin Barbarian in pocket for future characters. However, for this build, Bruno feel it not right.
Rok - Celestial Dire Tiger wrote:
How do you bypass the barbarian/monk lawful alignment conflict?
Take monk level before the barbarian levels. Even if you become ex-monk by changing to non-lawful alignment to become barbarian, you still retain all monk abilities (reverse is not true for barbarian-to-monk multiclassing). All you want is single level of Maneuver Master monk for flurry of manuevers.
Bruno, a handsome and beautiful tetori, may have have handsome and beautiful tetori friend who took too many [redacted S4 boons] in PFS and became ex-tetori/brutal pugilist...
Just checking, would it be possible to make this build using a wildshaped druid instead? (Assuming the character gets the feat to up wildshape by 4 levels.)
Bruno say yes but 3/4 BAB of 4 Druid levels make retraining of feats more mandatory. If you use the stat array for the Pouncer Grappler above, you'd need to drop a point into DEX at level 4 so it is 15 and when you shapeshift and drop to 13 and you keep Improved/Greater Grapple active.
L1 Maneuver Monk: Feat: Toughness, Bonus: Dirty Fighting, Monk-Imp Grapple
L3 Druid: Burner Feat
L5 Druid: Natural Spell, Retrain Burner to Shaping Focus. You can do a pouncing leopard (grab on bite) or whatever else grabs your fancy.
L6 Barbarian. Dire Tiger Form comes online
L7 Barbarian Rage Power: Animal Fury, Feat Extra Rage
L8 Barbarian. Dire Lion comes online.
L9 Barbarian. Greater Grapple
This a quick and dirty build focusing on the pouncing aspect with Maneuver Monk. There probably smoother progression of retrained feats, but this a quick rough go at a build. The loss of the 1 BAB delay Greater Grapple to L9 (or L8 if aggressive with retrains and want to dump Toughness or Dirty Fighting).
This post have some advice on grappling animal forms (not all have pounce, but good reference).
Bruno, a handsome and beautiful Tetori, try to figure out how to use Shifter as grappler. While Bruno could obviously go with Druid, Bruno want to challenge self to use full BAB shifter dip to make a PFS-legal pouncing grappler who pins on the charge.
Maneuver Master Monk 1/Shifter 4/Brutal Pugilist Barbarian X
STR 18 (+2 went here)
Trait: Bred For War, Reactionary
L1 Shifter: Power Attack, (Human) Toughness
For Brutal Pugilist maneuvers, choose CMB for Grapple and Sunder
Tiger Minor Aspect: You gain a +2 enhancement bonus to your Dexterity score.
Tiger Major Aspect: Your shape changes to that of a dire tiger. While in this form, you gain a base speed of 40 feet, low-light vision, scent (30 feet), the grab ability with both your bite and claw attacks, and pounce.
Pounce: When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack
Shifter's Rush: When you use a move action to move 10 feet or more or when you charge, you can use wild shape as a free action during that movement.
Flurry of Maneuvers: At 1st level, as part of a full-attack action, a maneuver master can make one additional combat maneuver, regardless of whether the maneuver normally replaces a melee attack or requires a standard action.
Animal Fury: A barbarian can make a bite attack as part of the action to maintain or break free from a grapple. This attack is resolved before the grapple check is made. If the bite attack hits, any grapple checks made by the barbarian against the target this round are at a +2 bonus.
Things to Discuss with your GM AKA Table Variation YMMV:
1) Retraining rules
2) If you grapple with a grab in the initial natural attacks, can you use the bonus maneuver from Flurry of Maneuvers to grapple and pin?
3) Double check that GM is ok with Animal Fury working with the Dire Tiger bite (i.e. getting bonus bite attacks during a grapple maintain).
4) Reasonable amount of free actions in a turn vis a vis this build
Only Magic Item Used in Example Pounce Attack:
While there are many grappler standard magic items you should buy for the example pounce attack only this item is factored in:
Anaconda’s Coils: The wearer gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength and a +2 competence bonus on grapple combat maneuver checks. Treat the enhancement bonus to Strength as temporary ability bonus for the first 24 hours the belt is worn. In addition, the belt grants the wearer the constrict ability for 1d6 points of damage plus the wearer’s Strength modifier.
Pouncing Flurry of Maneuvers at Level 7:
While you can pounce with a flurry of maneuvers at L5, the build picks steam when adding in Animal Fury with 2 Levels of Barbarian and picking up Greater Grapple.
At Level 7, before Power Attack or Pounce bonuses:
Again, as noted previously, the only magic item equipped in this example is the Anaconda's Coils. The hit and damage can easily be boosted.
Total Pounce Damage:
2 Grapples (Normal + Greater Grapple) for
Grapple to damage (twice)
Very Partial List of Magic Items to Consider:
Neck: Furious Dueling AoMF, Holy AoMF or Furious Merciful AoMF
Shoulders: Cloak of Resistance
Body: Bodywrap of Mighty Strikes
Belt: Anaconda's Coils
Hand: Gauntlet of the Skilled Maneuver - Grapple then Mantis Embrace
Wrist: Armbands of the Brawler (until supplanted by Anaconda's coils)
Ring: Protection, Eloquence
Slotless: Dusty Rose Ioun Stone slotted into Wayfinder
Major reasons why PFS wouldn’t divert limited resources to fully support high-level play:
1) Investment of resources vs interest: It’s been stated by campaign leadership that the vast majority of reported campaign play is in the lower levels with a significant drop-off once you hit seeker-level play. It takes more effort to build a higher level scenario that’s balanced...and would only see play by a very limited subset of players.
2) High level encounters can take longer: This is a PF1-specific observation as we haven’t seen the PF2 system in action yet, but with the swingy, rocket tag nature of high-level play, one group’s ROFLstomp is another group’s dragged out near-TPK. Yes, you can see this at low levels, but at high levels there are so many abilities, spells and counters that things can slow down to a crawl...but when you have the requisite 3-4 encounters in a game store where time may be at a premium, it can be problematical.
What levels are your other PFS characters? Because as some of the other posters have pointed out, a skill monkey that cannot contribute effectively in combat is basically handicapping the party and putting them at a disadvantage.
The thing about PFS is that almost any character concept can "work" through L5--the early tier scenarios are (generally) very forgiving. After L5, when PCs are expected more and more to pull their own weight, "support" or "skill monkey" builds can be problematical when they can't contribute meaningfully in combat. After L9, if you can't contribute in combat, everyone else has to work to make up for you.
Now imagine if your character was the 5th person, kicking the scenario from the 4-person to the 6-person adjustment--can your character contribute enough to counter that adjustment? Otherwise it's basically a 4-person party taking on an encounter balanced for 6 people.
Right now, your character dips THREE 3/4 BAB classes and has 10s in STR and DEX. So, martial prowess is not your forte. You have an INT of 20...but your main spell progression (bard) is CHA-based--so offensive spells due to low DCs are off the table.
You are going to get 3-4 combat encounters per PFS scenario--some can be avoided, some can't. What can you do when it can't be avoided? Every character should have a main option in combat, a back up option in combat and an out-of-combat role. While your OOC role is clear, your in-combat abilities are severely lacking.
You can see Wes' original e-mails in the blog post and much lengthier follow-ups in the comments. While the back-and-forth exchanges are primarily concerned with Half-Orcs, you can absolutely see how this would apply to Goblins in PF2.
While here are some selected excerpts, I suggest reading the blog/comments for the full comments and more context...but you can see how it struck me in relation to Goblins.
First, regarding half-orcs… the direction we took with them in their racial description is one we went back and forth over, and in the end we decided to go with the darker, grittier version. Golarion (and Pathfinder) often skews toward mature topics, and while we did tone down the language a bit for half-orcs, retaining their brutal and depressing origins was important to us. Certainly not ALL half-orcs are the product of orcs raping humans, but orcs ARE intended to be evil creatures in Pathfinder, and that’s one way to ensure that point comes across. Especially when there are other very popular game worlds where orcs are presented almost as the good guys. In the end, each and every player gets to choose how his player came to be, and in this case, having a half-orc PC whose parents were loving is a great way to set that character apart from the histories of most half-orcs.
Ultimately, despite many of us having strong personal reactions toward and opinions about elements of our campaign setting, we felt that it was important to include them, taking our setting from the PG status of many games to something closer to PG-13 or even a hard R. It’s our philosophy that facing such elements, including them in our game, and treating them with the gravitas such serious and often personal topics deserve is far preferable to pretending they don’t exist. This is a position that will lose us book sales and will turn off some customers. We know that, and ultimately that is each consumer’s decision. I certainly would not let my 10 year old nephew loose in a library of our works without context and guidance. But Pathfinder is also a game about choices. The game works just as well without halflings, rangers, and lizardfolk as it does with them. So if there’s any element a GM doesn’t want at her game table, the game is entirely hers to customize, and I believe the stronger for it.
Making major changes to races thoroughly established in our world’s continuity is more difficult, though. Saying that there’s one moon today then saying there’s two moons the next is going to raise a lot of eyebrows. With something established, there needs to be logical additions or evolutions. With orcs, maybe those of a lot of areas are crazy–damaged by their exposure to the deepest of Darklands radiations–but maybe that’s not the case all over. That’s a bit tricky considering how strongly so many players feel about orcs, but I don’t think it’s undoable. Half-orcs are easier, though, and I think more discussions about the race of a child born of half-orc parents (or a half-orc and human) will be coming up in the near future. My take is such children will be half-orc (we are NOT going the route of decreasing percentages when it comes to half-races), giving that entire race much more potential to know and not hate their parents. There’s definitely room in the stories we tell for whole communities of half-orcs seeking the comfort of their own kind, though I can’t say quite yet what shape something like this might take as our published works. Ultimately, though, we built the Pathfinder campaign setting to be a place where players can indulge any type of game they want. That’s why we have a viking-themed country, a necromancer’s paradise, an Egyptian-styled region, gothic horror land, Conan-land, knight country, and tons more all on the same map. If we’ve got room for all that, we’ve got room for happy half-orc families and the occasional good-aligned orcs. With additions like that, including the comparatively dull rainbow of human variation should be a breeze, but we always need to know what we’ve missed, so keep letting us know!
I have a half-formed theory here about racial backgrounds and whether PCs embrace them as part of their characters or seek to be exceptions. Like, you certainly get plenty of elves that grew up as elves in Elfland, but far fewer half-orcs or drow who grew up as exemplars of their race. That might have a lot to do with those being less than typical heroic races, but subject matter might factor into some decision as well. Needs more data.
On behalf of all the future Goblin Paladins, I would like to take a moment to assure my fellow adventurers-in-arms that I and my fellow green guardians are nothing comparable to my crude ilk you may be accustomed to.
In fact, my brother Nails and I were toasting to exciting future endeavors where I would charge boldly into battle upon my warhorse to join Nails and his faithful hound, Deddie.
And I do so hope you will think kindly upon us should sudden bestial urges fell the better Angels of our nature--as that celestial scamp Cayden Cailean is rumored to have once said, "None was a better lockpick to chained desires than a fine glass of sherry!"
QA and production issues aside, with the proliferation of online play, does the online domain become its own “region”? What if every one is physically in the same region (let’s say the Great Lakes) but play online—can they play GL exclusive scenarios or are they limited to online region exclusive scenarios?
Honestly, it’s enough of a bummer that certain scenarios require being at a Con or can only be run by someone with X amount of stars. Adding regions is not personally enticing to me as a GM or player.